Daily Prompt: Singing the Blues


Daily Prompt: Singing the Blues.


Saints and Feasts: Venerable Seraphim of Virits


Amen Our Father as it is in Heaven let be on earth Amen

Eastern Orthodox Logos

Basil Muraviev (the future St Seraphim) was born in 1865 in the town of Cheremovsky in the Yaroslavl province. His parents, Nicholas and Chione, were peasants. When Basil was ten years old, his father died, and he was left to care for his ailing mother and his sister Olga.

A kind neighbor took Basil with him to St Petersburg, and found him a job as a store clerk. The boy had a secret desire to become a monk, so one day he went to the St Alexander Nevsky Lavra to speak to one of the Elders about this. The Elder advised him to remain in the world and raise a family, then after their children had grown, he and his wife were to serve God in the monastic life.

Basil accepted these words as the will of God, and so he lived his life as the Elder had directed. Returning…

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Patrick: “An Epistle of Christ Written on Your Hearts with the Spirit of the Living God”



Enlarging the Heart

Patrick I am presuming to try to grasp in my old age what I did not gain in my youth because my sins prevented me from making what I had read my own.

[…] I am unable to explain as the spirit is eager to do and as the soul and the mind indicate. But, had it been given to me as to others, in gratitude I should not have kept silent.

And if it should appear that I put myself before others, with my ignorance and my slower speech, in truth, it is written: ‘The tongue of the stammerers shall speak rapidly and distinctly.’

How much harder must we try to attain it, we of whom it is said: ‘You are an epistle of Christ in greeting to the ends of the earth…written on your hearts, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.’

And again, the…

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The Great Inheritance of Orthodox Theology


« Observing the “Three-Day”Tips from the Monastery: A Lenten Chocolate/ Cleaning out the Pantry »The Great Inheritance of Orthodox TheologyFebruary 29, 2012 by matushka constantinaConference in Piraeus, 2012(Originally posted on OCN’s The Sounding)On February 15, 2012, some 1,500 faithful and myself were blessed to attend a conference in Piraeus: “Patristic Theology and Post-Patristic Heresy,” a response to another conference held at the Theological Academy of Volos in June, 2010. A conference my husband and I had the misfortune of also attending. That conference was entitled: “Neo-Patristic Synthesis or Post-Patristic Theology: Can Orthodox Theology Be Contextual?” It was essentially an attempt to paint the teachings of the Holy Fathers as out-dated, insignificant and unrelated to modern man in modern times. (I’m paraphrasing of course.)This conference in 2010 provoked a strong response from bishops, priests, and laity. Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos wrote something challenging this approach to Orthodox theology. Metropolitan Paul of Glyfada wrote a critique of it, requesting the Holy Synod of Greece to address what was being said at the conference. Others also spoke out against the idea of neo-Patristic or post-Patristic theology.Ultimately the conference in Piraeus was an attempt to demonstrate that many faithful, including many priests, and monastics, do not view Orthodox theology as something corruptible. “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today, and to the ages” (Heb. 13:8) as is the Holy Spirit who inspires our Orthodox theology.In my opinion the conference in Piraeus predominately illustrated  the following: A.) That post-Patristic theology – or heresy, as it was aptly described in Piraeus – is not a new thing, but an old heresy embodied in Protestantism and in people like Barlaam (the opponent of St. Gregory Palamas), and B.) Orthodox theology is inspired by the Holy Spirit; it is not the result of intelligent people articulating ideologies.Theological Academy of Volos Conference 2010I have strong opinions about this topic. I had strong opinions about the topic when I was sitting through two days of lectures in Volos in 2010. However, I won’t speak about all that, I’ll simply direct you to where you can read/ view well-informed papers on the topic that, God willing, will be translated into English in the near future. (See HERE).What I will say is this: The reaction of these bishops, priests, monastics and laity demonstrates that Greece is as much opposed to patroclasm (being against fathers) as it was in Ancient times when Plato wrote his dialogue Euthyphro in which Socrates discusses the theme of piety with a young man who sued his father. Ultimately Socrates asks: Is something good and just because the gods will it, or do the gods will it because the thing is good just? As Orthodox Christians we believe the Holy Fathers teach Orthodox theology because it is right and proper in and of itself – Orthodox theology is not merely correct because the Fathers teach it. And so, it follows that as Orthodox Christians we accept and uphold the theology handed down to us by our Fathers because it is proper piety to do so.Orthodoxy is philopatristic (father-loving). We have piety toward the Fathers because they acquired the Holy Spirit, and in acquiring Him recorded our faith in treatises, apologies, and confessions. Orthodoxy is not and will not ever be post-Patristic because the Holy Spirit inspires Orthodox theology, and “the wisdom from above indeed is first pure, then peaceable, equitable, easily entreated, full of mercy and of good fruits, impartial and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).Sunday of OrthodoxyOrthodox theology is not Palamite, or Hesychastic, or any other term like that, it is simply Orthodox. We do not view “Hesychasm” as something unique to St. Gregory Palamas. Mystical theologians, neptic theologians, social theologians are almost unnecessary labels, for the Fathers may emphasize certain points over others but ultimately they are Fathers, theologians, because the Unified Godhead inspires them, illuminates them, and fills them with grace. Orthodox theology is not confined to “once upon time.” It is full of life, applicable to all people in all times. It is a constant running stream of life-giving water, immeasurable in depth and limitless in width. Even in our times fresh springs arise and add to the stream of Orthodox theology. But it is not a new substance, it is the same water. It merely pours forth from new saints, new theologians, but the same theology – the same source, the Holy Triadic God.We follow the Fathers because by living in the Light of God, they have received the dogmas, doctrines, and practices we hold dear as Orthodox Christians directly from God. And we will continue to have Holy Fathers unto life everlasting. And so this year when we celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy let’s remember just how rich we are, having received a great inheritance from our Holy Fathers and let’s safeguard that inheritance by protecting it from those who would do away with it.(Images are borrowed from here and here.)Share this:

via The Great Inheritance of Orthodox Theology.

Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 10:1-22


Eastern Orthodox Logos

Proverbs 10:1-22

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. A son who gathers in summer is prudent, but a son who sleeps in harvest brings shame. Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a prating fool will come to ruin. He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out. He who winks the eye causes trouble, but…

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